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DMCA Notices Will Be a Factor in Search

 6:31 pm on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify. [insidesearch.blogspot.com...]



 7:24 am on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

If the 58% are true I would imagine that most of the least reliable ones are easily identified, though. It compares to the allegedly extremely high percentage of spam among all e-mail traffic - most of which does not affect the users in the end.


 12:35 pm on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I haven't had time to read it yet, but in their transparency FAQ Google makes reference to this 2006 study by the University of Southern California.


Might be in there. If so, it's six years or more out of date.


 5:48 pm on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Nice find netmeg:

In addition, we found some interesting patterns that do not, by themselves, indicate concern, but which are of concern when combined with the fact that one third of the notices depended on questionable claims:

* Over half—57%—of notices sent to Google to demand removal of links in the index were sent by businesses targeting apparent competitors;

* Thirty percent of notices demanded takedown for claims that presented an obvious question for a court (a clear fair use argument, complaints about uncopyrightable material, and the like);

* Notices to traditional ISP’s included a substantial number of demands to remove files from peer-to-peer networks (which are not actually covered under the takedown statute, and which an OSP can only honor by terminating the target’s Internet access entirely); and
* One out of 11 included significant statutory flaws that render the notice unusable (for example, failing to adequately identify infringing material).

Money Shot:
The specifics of our data set may limit the ability to neatly generalize our findings. Yet the findings are troubling, and seem to indicate a need to further study, and perhaps revisit entirely, the DMCA takedown process.

... The surprising number of questionable takedowns we observed, taken in conjunction with the ex ante removal of content, the minimal remedies for abuse of the process, and the lack of knowledge about the counternotice procedures, suggest that few are well-served by the current Section 512 process, and some or many individuals, as well as public discourse and the Internet’s value as an expressive platform, may be harmed.


 8:50 pm on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

It'd be funny if a happy hacker got ahold of the hot list of fake abuse filers and posted it on Russian servers.


 1:11 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

The potential for abuse here is going to be unreal.

The potential for abuse from the infringers was already unreal.

Who the hell wants to fight to rank against your own stolen content in a SE?

That's what I call unreal.

This is just a little vindication for the infringed victims IMO and may be the beginning of the end of the infringement economy if it plays out right.

If they can't fence infringed and spun content on MFA AdSense sites whatever will they do?

That's rhetorical as I don't care what they do except go away.


 3:00 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

The potential for abuse from the infringers was already unreal.

The cause of concern, though small, here is this ranking signal might not be used against all sites. Those popular sites which are in the good books of Google aren't going to be affected. This will then prove to be a biased signal used by their algorithms which is already perceived to be biased in favor of the popular brands or websites.

For example, several popular news sites consider themselves to have the right to re-post anything from any other place on the internet, small or big, with or without proper credits or permission. Their thinking is not much different from how Google feels about the content it spiders and presents on their SERPs. I bet that these popular ones aren't going to be affected by this change and even if they do, they will come back quickly.


 5:34 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

I do share the concern - I've fought a couple big battles on the issue of big site "content borrowing" just this year. Ultimately, it is a very big issue - and the question is for the courts to a large degree due to the complexity of the US "Fair Use" provisions.

And truthfully, I'd rather see it stay mostly in the courts. Although I have found Google to be an ally in the battle with YouTube infringement this year. They were ripping DVDs and VHS that my client had published and copyrighted in hard copy, so the case was dead-cold made.


 5:50 am on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

When you have the biggest gun you make the rules?


 6:11 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

perceived to be biased in favor of the popular brands or websites.

From an outside vantage point anything popular would appear to be favored but I'm sure the bias is from the masses searching for those popular brands, not Google promoting them directly.

Even Amazon was once just a little unknown online merchant.

Anyway, back to the DMCA topic, I normally take the little guys offline by filing a DMCA with their host, not Google. Many scraper sites have never come back from the dead so I never really worried about their SERPs after I found them initially and will probably continue to address the issue in that way moving forward unless I find myself at odds with some bigger fish.


 6:04 pm on Aug 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

G says their own sites must play by the rules too:

A spokeswoman for the search giant said: "This update applies to all websites including our own - YouTube, Blogger, etc."

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19295221 [bbc.com]


 3:22 am on Aug 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

But they will easily escape if they are going to apply a formula which calculates the no. of DMCA noticed pages to the overall pages on the site.

Considering the fact that Google always felt they were never responsible for user added content, not even for moderating it, I doubt they would demote their own properties for content added by their users. Yes, they do remove content but only if you file an objection and they find merit in it, but they never moderate for quality or whatever. The only property where they moderate manually and algorithmically is their search engine.


 11:16 am on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've noticed this in my logs already. People searching for various torrents on copyright material are finding my rants, and bouncing. So I suppose a slightly higher bounce rate is the price of this update for many legitimate websites.

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